Ok so you have a gravel ride coming up. How far is the ride, what is the terrain, how long do you plan to be out there, what opportunities are there to access water during the ride? These questions are all important and once you have those answers the nutrition plan is relatively easy with Tailwind Nutrition. You have to consider all aspects of the ride and how long it will take you to determine how many bottles of Endurance Fuel you will need to complete the ride. I recommend drinking one bottle per hour during the ride and knowing the route and where to stop for water to refill your bottles.
I typically will start a long ride with three full bottles of Endurance Fuel at the 200-calorie volume which is 2 scoops from a bag or one complete stick package per bottle. Two bottles on my bike and the third in a jersey pocket. Some gravel bikes have carriers for 3 or even more bottles so it’s possible to carry more. Or you can use a hydration pack, the pack I have is up to ~3 litres, which is the equivalent of 4 bottles. If I use the pack completely full plus two bottles, I have volume for 6 hours of riding before I need to refill. To refill, know where you can source water or where the aid stations are and how much time it will take to arrive at these water sources. If I can ride for 2-3 hours before the first stop, I’ll refill the bottles which are empty with water, and add Endurance Fuel which I transport in my handlebar bag. Refill stops are based on where they are available rather than time traveled. I have used individual packs of EF or a sandwich bag filled from the multi-serving bag and I throw the scoop in to measure it out. It’s a pretty quick stop to refill, mix and go.
As far as fuelling goes, I take a drink every 10 minutes or so a few swallows at a time. I mark the time on my cycle computer, some you can program to beep at set intervals. It’s important to keep up the intake schedule. I also carry small half sandwiches, or a mini croissant with cream cheese, jam or meat and eat one every two hours. And that is all I need so the program is simple.
It’s important to practice your calorie needs per bottle on your training rides. You will need to understand how your system accepts and the feelings you have by relying on EF as your primary nutrition source. I find I use fewer calories in cooler weather and more in warmer weather. So in cool weather I may use 150 calories/1.5 scoops per bottle, and in warmer I may drink the 200 calorie/2 scoop bottle in 45 minutes. If it is hot, I like to keep one bottle as water only to spray on my head and body to stay cool. But I don’t find that I need to have a bottle of water to drink, I do just fine with the light tased of Endurance Fuel.
Finally, If the ride is planned for 7 hours, I’ll bring enough for 9 hours, just in case. A little extra is better than not enough, plus you sometimes add extra time with unexpected wrong turns or mechanicals. Don’t forget a serving of Recovery Mix for after the ride Helps you feel better faster so you can pack up and get out of there!
Fuelling is easy with Endurance Fuel. Good luck!